STUDENTS have taken fundraising to new heights after their Yorkshire hills trek raised nearly £7,000 for cancer research.

Former Darlington College student Claire Robson was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2011 and her partner Peter Dent, who still attends the college, decided to organise the 25-mile walk to show support for local blood cancer charity, Bright Red.

It took Mr Dent, from Darlington, less than 12 hours to lead his 33-strong team of friends across the Dales for the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, which covered Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent.

Ms Robson, who now attends York University after studying access to education at Darlington College, said: “Peter took it upon himself to do something for the charity because Freeman’s Hospital in Newcastle have been and still are fantastic since my diagnosis.

“Considering we only set our Just Giving page target to £1,500, I think it can be agreed they did absolutely fantastic!”

She also thanked everyone who donated and took part in the fundraising effort.

Bright Red, whose aim is to improve the lives and treatment of those dealing with blood cancer, was delighted to receive the cheque for £6,801.50, which was presented to Professor Stephen O’Brien of Freeman Hospital’s haematology department, in Newcastle, at an official ceremony.

The money raised will go towards the annual running costs of Bright Red’s new Cytometer (cell sorter) machine at the hospital.

The charity’s Ashley Elliott said she could not be happier about the walk’s outcome.

She said: “Professor O'Brien was over the moon to receive the cheque. It's always lovely when patients take the lead in organising events as brilliant as this.”